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This chapter is from the book

Knowing the People Who Count

And I quickly learned that if I wanted to know what was going on in a branch, it was best to speak to the people who really knew—the maintenence staff, the receptionists, the cashiers, the elevator attendant, and the drivers. It was important both to identify these people and to be on the right side of them—Rule 94. They supplied me with more information than anyone would have believed—and all for the price of a simple "Hello Bob, how's your daughter doing at college these days?"

The Rules of Work took shape. Over the next few years I watched them grow up and gain maturity and experience. I left the corporation and founded my own consultancy. I trained managers in The Rules of Work and watched them go out into the world and conquer their destiny with charm and courtesy, confidence and authority.

But I see you have questions. How do these Rules work—are they manipulative? No, you don't make anyone else do anything; it is you that is changing and improving.

  • Do I have to become someone else? No, you may need to change your behavior a bit, but not your personality or values. You'll go on being you, but a slicker, quicker you, a more successful you.
  • Are they hard to learn? No, you can learn them in a week or two—but it does take a long time to really master them. But we are learning all the time and even practicing one Rule is better than none at all.
  • Is it easy to spot others doing them? Yes, sometimes, but the really good Rules Players will never let you see what they are doing; they're too good for that. But once you become a Rules Player too, it does become easier to see what Rule people are using at any particular time.
  • Will I notice benefits right away? Oh yes, you betcha—immediately.
  • Do I still do them? I wouldn't even admit to doing them in the first place—I'm a Rules Player after all.
  • Is it ethical to use the Rules? Yes. You aren't doing anything wrong, merely utilizing your own natural skills and talents and adapting them, using them consciously. This is a key area for understanding the Rules—consciously. Everything you do will have been decided beforehand—you'll still appear spontaneous, of course, you decided that as well—but you will be a conscious controller of any situation rather than an unconscious victim. You will be awake and aware, living in the moment and taking advantage of your own abilities. The bottom line is that you must be able to do your job—and do it well in the first place. The Rules are not for slackers. You think you work hard now? It's nothing to doing the Rules successfully—now that really does take work.

And let's face it, you love to work. You love doing your job. You have to, to be wanting to read the Rules and to want to be moving up. What I am suggesting is that you consciously think about every area of that work and make changes to improve

  • The way you do it
  • How people perceive you to be doing it

If you don't practice the Rules, you will muddle along, get by, maybe find what it is you are looking for. You may already know a lot of these Rules—and be practicing them—instinctively and intuitively. Now we will do them consciously. If you do you will

  • Get promoted
  • Get along better with your colleagues
  • Feel better about yourself
  • Enjoy your work more
  • Understand your job better
  • Understand your boss's point of view better
  • Take more pride in both yourself and your work
  • Set a good example for junior staff
  • Contribute more to your company
  • Be valued and respected
  • Spread an aura of goodwill and cooperation around you
  • Be successful if you leave to start your own business.

These Rules are simple and effective, safe and practical. They are your 10 steps to building confidence and creating a new and more powerful you. And building that new you morally and ethically. You aren't going to do anything that you wouldn't expect—and appreciate—others doing to you. These Rules enhance personal standards and elevate your individual principles. They are my gift to you. They're yours. Keep them safe, keep them secret.

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